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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Bielszowice. A shock to the mine. Rescue operation

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On Saturday, there was a shock in the Bielszowice mine in Silesia. Some miners working in the mining region withdrew unharmed, but two locksmiths remained underground. After 7 p.m. it was reported that the rescuers had made visual and voice contact with one of the wanted persons. Earlier, it was possible to track down the signals from the missing lamps. A rescue operation is in progress.

The dispatcher of the State Mining Authority said that the shock took place on Saturday (December 4) before 9 in the so-called traffic Bielszowice – part of the Ruda mine, belonging to Polska Grupa Górnicza, in the area of ​​one of the mining walls 780 meters underground. As explained by Tomasz Głogowski, spokesman for Polska Grupa Górnicza, the incident took place at 8.52 in the area of ​​longwall 001Z in seam 504. Its magnitude was approximately 2.5. The rescue operation began around 9.30 am.

Underground – in the quake area – there were seven miners who were carrying out maintenance work. They started the shift at 6.30. There was no mining carried out there. He later specified that the seven workers previously reported by PGG worked in the entire mining area, and there were three people in the immediately affected area. One of the miners, a foreman, managed to retreat unharmed. Two miners were wanted and there was no contact with them. They are locksmiths – one is 31 and the other is 42. Their families were notified about their search.

There is contact with one miner that you are looking for

After 7 p.m., the spokesman of Polska Grupa Górnicza announced that the rescuers had made visual and voice contact with one of the two wanted miners. He is battered but conscious. – He managed to hand over a blanket and water. Eye contact is very limited, but the employee’s account shows that he can see the rescue workers’ lamps, said a PGG spokesman.

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Mine representatives indicate that it is difficult to estimate how long it will take to reach the injured person and the other missing person. The action is technically difficult.

Earlier, after 4 p.m., the vice-president of PGG for production, Rajmund Horst, told journalists that the emergency services had managed to locate the signals from the missing lamps. – They are about 10-20 meters from where the rescuers reached. This is quite positive news. There are two signals coming from the lamps of the two miners. We know in which direction we should and work to reach the victims – said Horst.

This meant a change in the way the rescue operation was conducted. Initially, the rescuers tried to reach the injured from both sides of the dump, but in the new circumstances the rescue teams were moved to one side.

“Communication interrupted, air flow dropped.” A rescue operation is in progress

A spokesman for PGG previously informed that rescuers from the mine and from the Central Mine Rescue Station are working on site. The rescue operation is managed by the mine director.

– After the tremor in this area, communication was interrupted and the air flow decreased – said the dispatcher of the WUG.

Głogowski added that more information will be available when the rescuers reach the place where the shock occurred. It is not known how long the rescue operation will take. – We are getting ready to build rescue walkways. It’s hard to say where they are. (…) it may end quickly, and it may end after a few days – admitted Andrzej Kleszcz from the Central Mine Rescue Station in Bytom.


Shock in the Bielszowice mineTVN24

Mine representative: a rock embankment was found

Before 2 p.m. Głogowski informed that “after the initial penetration of this area, a rock embankment was found in the distance of 50-60 meters”. – In total, there are six rescue teams there, or about 30 rescuers. These are the groups from the Bielszowice mine, from the surrounding mines and the Central Mine Rescue Station in Bytom – he said.

Bielszowice mineAndrzej Grygiel / PAP

The prime minister is in contact with the Silesian voivode

Prime Minister Morawiecki said on Facebook that he is in constant contact with the Silesian voivode on this matter.

“I have received information about the shock in the Bielszowice mine in Ruda Śląska. A difficult rescue operation is underway, because there are two people trapped underground. I am in constant contact with the Silesian voivode, Jarosław Wieczorek. I will keep you informed about the course of the action” – the prime minister wrote.

Mining industry representatives note that although in recent years there have been serious accidents in mines in front of Barbórka, they do not remember that they happened on the mining festival itself. On Saturday, the Miner’s Day celebrations are planned in many places in the region – similarly to the previous year, more modest due to the pandemic.

Main photo source: Andrzej Grygiel / PAP

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